Connect with us

Courses

Buck Point GC – A Dye Course on a “PB” Budget

Published

on

 

First off let me say that Buck Point is an excellent golf course for the money. Greens fees on a Saturday morning in September were less than $40 for 18 holes with cart. We wanted to walk, at the same price, but they would not allow us to be in harmony with the course.

That said, lets get to the peanut butter. Buck Point Golf Club is a PB Dye owned and designed course near Brookville Lake in Southeastern Indiana. The Dye family are legends in Indiana, bar none. Buck Point is approximately 45-50 minutes West of Cincinnati and I finally made the short road trip to play there this past September with a fellow Golfwrx member. The cool thing about this course is that it was designed and constructed on a shoestring budget of $1.5 million peanuts. A mere pittance when it comes to golf course design and construction. It seems that PB got together with some old buddies and made this course happen.

When I see the initials "PB", two things immediately come to mind; 1. Hitting into that damn huge bunker on PB’s Moorland course in Myrtle Beach and 2. Peanut butter, which by the way my 9th grade history teacher, Mr. Gillespie,  survived on while hiking through Europe one summer and showed us slides every Friday to prove it. PB took a peanut butter budget and serves up better than that as the finished product of Buck Point Golf Club. Many of the holes are serenely scenic and play right alongside Brookville Lake. Buck Point stretches out to 7100 plus yards from the tips, has many rolling hills and plays pretty much wide open on a majority of the holes.

The greens held everything hit into them and rolled extremely fast on a dew swept early September morning.  The fairways were  a little suspect, most likely due to the Midwestern drought and keeping them no so tight to limit the burned out areas that all courses around here have been suffering the past three years.  According to PB Dye, "I built the best golf course on the piece of land that I could and just kept going," said Dye. "It is a very playable design. But there are a couple of par-3s out there that are tougher than yachts braid. Once this thing gets fully-grown in there will be no hay in play. I hate hay. We want to have people find the golf ball and play it. I tried to create as big a playing surface as I could. This is just a good old farm golf course."

 

Finding your ball was fairly easy and I agree, many of the par threes were tough as nails (especially #16), I was never a sailor, so I cannot say how tough a yacht’s braid is. Funny, I cannot ever remember a course being referred to as a "good old farm golf course" as Dye puts it. When you see the tee box yardage/hole layout markers, you’ll quickly get the idea.  So how does an architect cut so many corners with costs? Well, they eat lots of peanut butter instead of organic, chef prepared, catered meals right? Not really. According to PB, "part of the secret of the low development costs were the scaled back construction methods used to build the course. The greens are all topsoil and less than 250,000 cubic yards of earth were moved to form the layout.

 

Dye also brought in his own shapers and equipment from other jobs to piece the construction of the course together." Additonally, they were able to save money by using Rain Bird irrigation heads that were bought for $5 a piece and buying mostly used equipment.  It seems that it was PB’s mission to prove that quality golf can be built for less. In my estimation he truly succeeded here. This is as unpretentious as a golf experience can really be.

 

However, there are a few drawbacks at Buck Point. They desparately could use a quality, correctly sized clubhouse. A double wide trailer with a porch does nothing to attract golfers back a second time or to spend more money on refreshments. The power lines here are visually disturbing on many of the holes, especially on hole number two.  Moving power lines is a tough chore, so we’ll let this one slide! Hole number 14 was really shoehorned in and offers no reward for a lot of risk for a very short par four that you can almost hit anything from 7 iron on up off of the tee. (see pic below) If you look very closely, you can see the stacked concrete on the right. The green is NOT driveable.

The second shot (that is of course if you are actually lucky enough to have one) into a green built upon huge, stacked highway concrete chunks really looks and plays strange. I am being picky though, if this course was closer to Cincinnati, I would surely spend my golf money here on a regular basis. In fact, they have a really cool, and huge, eagle flying around that literally buzzed us a few times on a green and a teebox. There is quite a bit of wildlife to be seen on and around this layout.

PB Dye? The PB could mean peanut butter. Overall PB, you did a damn fine job, especially with the ‘po folks looking hole markers. Pass the Skippy and lets play some farm golf! For more information, visit the Buck point website, www.buckpointgolfclub.com/.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Easter Treats

    Jan 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    whoah this blog is great i love reading your posts. Stay up the great paintings! You already know, a lot of individuals are looking round for this info, you could help them greatly.

  2. Ed Grinvalds

    Jul 18, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Played this P.B. Dye course on July 17, 2009. What a great course that is open to the public. Conditions are excellent and the test from the tips is awesome. There are many stunning visuals of the lake and really just great golf holes. This is a classic lakeside course with lots of variety and reminds you of the “Teeth of The Dog” course that PB’s father built in the Dominican Republic. If there is a better course in the greater Cincinnati area, for asthetics and difficulty,I know I haven’t played it.
    Conditions for the budget that the greenskeeper has are phenomenal. Not Augusta but above average for sure. And the whole design is just a Dye classic. I would say it is the architects best design ever.
    Cons? If you want a low score rather than a complete examination of your skills, you better skip it. There was no beer available but I was told that this would will change in a couple of weeks.
    Pros? Worthy of a play and stay outing as there is a marina within 1/2 mile with a great bar& restaurant and lodging available overlooking the lake and part of the course.

  3. Nash Carr

    Dec 4, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Gordon,

    I do not believe that it is totally fair to judge most courses on conditioning in the Southwestern Ohio area; in case you have not noticed, there has been a drought here every summer for last three years. Most courses have been substantially damaged and have suffered greatly as a result. Many courses, in the very near future, will spend even less on watering and upkeep with the sluggish economy as people start to spend less $$ playing golf. The course actually played fairly soft when we played. For $40 with a cart, you won’t get Augusta conditioning my friend.

  4. gordon

    Dec 2, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    when i played the fairways were soooooooo bumpy they were like bad wash boards. is it still that way???? riding in a cart was pure punishment. Plus the first 4 holes were sw to each green. all in all , i thot it was a terrible golf course.

  5. Jason

    Nov 29, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    My buddy and I played out there for the first time this year just to check it out. I thought the greens fees were very well priced for the condition of the course. It’s not the most well kept course I’ve ever played on but it was in good shape. Many of the holes were very “neat” with downward tee shots and one par 3 right next to the lake that will make you cringe if you tend to fade the ball. Overall I’d say it’s a good course that’s priced right for the play.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Courses

Branson, Missouri Continues to Evolve as a Golf Destination

Published

on

If you think you know Branson, Mo., it’s time to think again. While the live music venues that put the bucolic Ozark Mountains town on the map continue to thrive, its reputation as a top notch golf destination has grown … and continues to evolve.

Heck, golfers who’ve visited just a few years ago will find the scene almost unrecognizable. Sure, the awe-inspiring Top of the Rock — designed by legendary Jack Nicklaus and holding the honor of being the first-ever par-3 course to be included in a professional PGA championship — is as striking as ever, but its sister course, Buffalo Ridge, has undergone a metamorphosis.

No. 15 at Buffalo Ridge

Designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio and originally opened in 1999, Buffalo Ridge has done the unthinkable – make its list of previous accolades pale in comparison to what now graces the land. In conjunction with owner and visionary conservationist Johnny Morris, Fazio has exposed massive limestone formations, enhanced approaches and added water features to make every hole more memorable than the last.

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio masterpieces not enough? Gary Player has stamped his signature in the Ozarks with the recently opened Mountain Top Course. This 13-hole, walking-only short course is unlike anything you’ve ever played.

Strap your bag to a trolley and let your imagination dictate your round. There are stakes in the ground with yardage markers nearby, but they’re merely suggestions. Play it long or play it short. Play it from different angles. The only mandate is to enjoy the course, nature and camaraderie.

No. 10 at Mountain Top

The Mountain Top greens are huge and as smooth as putting on a pool table. Nearly as quick, too. And the bunkers are as pristine as the white sands of an isolated Caribbean beach. Capping off your experience, the finishing hole plays back to the clubhouse and the green boasts multiple hole locations that enhance golfers’ chances at carding an ace. Hard to imagine a better way the end an already unforgettable round.

It shouldn’t take you much longer than two hours to get around Mountain Top Course. If it does, you were likely admiring the stunning panoramas. One notable addition to those views is Tiger Woods’ (TGR Design) first public access design — Payne’s Valley (named to honor Missouri golfing legend Payne Stewart) — which is full speed ahead on construction and scheduled to open in 2019. As a treat, the 19th hole was designed by Morris. Named “The Rock,” it’s a short par-3 that promises to be amazing.

Payne’s Valley will be both family-friendly and challenging. It has wide fairways and ample landing areas along with creative angles and approaches that shotmakers love and expect from a championship course.

If two years is too long to wait for new golf, then Morris and his Big Cedar Lodge have you covered with the yet-to-be-named ridge-top course by the industry’s hottest design team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. With all the heavy lifting complete, the Ozarks is scheduled to be unveiled in 2018.

The Ozark Mountains form the backdrop on No. 5 at Buffalo Ridge.

Once opened, this par-71 (36-35) track will play “firm and fast” and offer multiple avenues into each green. Both Coore and Crenshaw bristle at the notion that there’s only one way to approach the playing surface. Bring it in high or run it along the ground. Considering the exposed nature of the course and propensity for high winds, the latter may be your best option.

There’s more. Tiger won’t be finished with Branson when he wraps up Payne’s Valley. He’s also designing a family-friendly par-3 course on the grounds of Big Cedar Lodge. There isn’t a date attached to this project, so stay tuned.

These new tracks join the likes of Thousand Hills, Branson Hills and Pointe Royale Golf Village to make Branson a powerful player on the golf destination scene. Combine that with world-class fishing and camping, as well as countless museums, restaurants and points of interest and this bustling Ozarks town is a must-visit spot in Middle America.

Learn more or plan your trip at explorebranson.com.

Your Reaction?
  • 51
  • LEGIT8
  • WOW3
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Courses

Ari’s Course Reviews: Oakmont Country Club

Published

on

Editor’s Note: Ari Techner is a well-traveled, golf-course connoisseur who’s setting out to review the best golf courses in the world. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are his own. 

Oakmont Country Club. The name alone strikes fear into the heart of any mortal golfer. Oakmont has a reputation for difficulty unmatched in the golf world; it’s fear forged in the public’s eye while watching best players in the world struggle during the U.S. Open every 10-plus years or so. There is a notion that Oakmont could hold a U.S. Open just about any day of the year. This is not a course that needs to be tweaked from its daily setup to test the best in the world.

All that said, a close look at the course reveals that there is so much more to Oakmont than just difficulty. Since around 1950, MANY courses have been built with the dilebrate intention of holding a U.S. Open. Most, if not all, of these courses are filled with water hazards, extremely long holes and very little variety. Oakmont is the exact opposite of that, and this is what is at the core of its greatness.

A view from the ninth fairway

Oakmont Country Club first opened in 1903 and was designed by Henry Fownes, who built it because he felt the other courses around Pittsburgh were not difficult enough. The course was constantly tweaked in the early years by Fownes and his son William. Both Fownes were accomplished players with William winning the U.S. Amateur in 1910 and serving as the playing captain of the first U.S. Walker Cup team in 1922.

Trees, or no trees?

The 18th tee

The course was extremely influential in the development of early golf courses in America. It was equally influential in future years by setting trends that have changed the way many other courses have evolved. When Oakmont opened, it was built in an open field and had no trees on the course, adding to the links-like flavor that Fownes wanted from his visits overseas. In the 1950s (after all the Fownes had left the club) Oakmont added thousands of non-native trees to line the corridors of the holes, a look that was a heavy trend of the time. This work was mostly done by Robert Trent Jones, who also modified the bunkers to fit more of his style of the time.

The course continued to evolve over the years with the bunkers being restored by Tom Fazio… but the trees remained. In preparation for the 2008 U.S. Open, Oakmont cut down thousands of trees, returning the course to its open, windswept origins. This was very controversial among the members, and much of the work was done in the middle of the night in the off-season so as not to cause a big stir. After 2008, thousands more trees have been cut down, opening all of the amazing long views across the property. You can see almost every hole on the property from just about every spot on the course. Oakmont was the first course to embrace this massive tree removal and it has turned into a trend with hundreds of classic courses removing their non-native trees and going back to their more open original layouts.

Oakmont is the only course that Fownes designed and I believe that contributes greatly to its uniqueness. Fownes’ version of difficulty did not include artificial water hazards, out of bounds or excessive bunkering fronting greens, and it did not rely simply on longer-than-average holes to challenge the golfer. Instead, it has an amazingly varied mix of holes that challenge the golfer in a variety of ways both mentally and physically. Overall, the course requires you to be a straight driver of the ball, a good iron player and to have a deft short game and putting touch. You also need to be able to think your way around the course while you execute the shots you choose at a high level.

A good variety

Oakmont has its share of length with long par 4s, such as hole Nos. 1, 10, 15 and 18, the monster par-5 12th and long par 3s such as Nos. 8 and 16.  What sets the course apart to me, however, are the short holes and the holes that require strategic decision-making off the tee. These include short par 4s such Nos. 2, 11 and 17 and mid-length par 4s including Nos. 5 and 14.  These holes can be just as difficult as the long ones, and they require a completely different skill set.  The short par-3 13th and short par-5 9th (plays as a par 4 for the U.S. Open) round out what is an amazing set of shorter holes.

A view of the ninth fairway from across the Pennsylvania Turnpike

The course uses the natural movement of the site very well and has a tight, extremely walkable routing despite being bisected by the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the bottom of the hill in the middle of the property. I particularly love the fallaway greens at 1, 10, 12, and to a lesser degree 3 and 15 where the front of the green is higher than the back. This is a unique look that you do not see in the USA very often. Without the little backboard that a back-to-front sloping green provides, you must hit the ball solid or execute a well played run-up shot to hold the green. The short par 4s tempt the long hitter just enough to make them think about hitting driver, but wayward shots are punished enough to make most think twice. The 17th, at a little under 300 yards, could be the hardest hole on the course, and yet it is definitely drivable for the right player who hits a great drive. The small and extremely narrow green requires a short shot be hit the perfect distance if you decide to lay up to the right down the fairway. Hit it even a little short and you end up in the aptly named “Big Mouth” bunker which is extremely deep. Hit it a hair long or with not enough spin to hold the green and you end up rolling over the green into one of a few smaller bunkers. Carry the bunkers on the left side off the tee into the sliver of fairway up by the green and you have a short, open shot from a much better angle into the fatter part of the green. Such risk/reward and great use of angles is paramount to Oakmont’s genius.

Green complexes are…complex

The green on the 18th hole

Oakmont also sports one of the best sets of greens anywhere in the world.  They are all heavily contoured and very challenging, yet playable. You can certainly make putts out there if you are putting well, but get on the wrong side of the hole and you are left with an extremely difficult, but rarely impossible 2 putt. They are also very unique due to Fownes only designing one course, as they do not look like any other classic course; they have a feel all their own. They are mostly open in front, coming from the correct angle, and they have many squarish edges. They also cut the tight fringe far back into the fairway, which aids in run-up shots; it also gives a great look where the green and the fairway blend together seamlessly.

The bunkering is also very unique and very special… and they are true hazards. Find yourself in a fairway bunker off the tee, and you are likely wedging out without much of any chance of reaching the greens. The green-side bunkers are fearsome, very deep and difficult. The construction of the bunkers is unique too — most of them have very steep and tall faces that were built up in the line of play. Oakmont is also home to one of the most famous bunkers in golf; the “Church Pews” bunkers — a large, long rectangular bunker between the fairways of holes 3 and 4 with strips of grass in the middle like the pews in a church. There is also a smaller “Church Pews” bunker left of the fairway off the tee on hole 15. Hit it into one of these two bunkers and good luck finding a decent lie.

Ari’s last word

All-in-all, along with being one of the hardest courses in the world, Oakmont is also one of the best courses in the world. It is hard enough to challenge even the best players in the world day-in and day-out, but it can easily be played by a 15-handicap without losing a ball. It is extremely unique and varied and requires you to use every club in your bag along with your brain to be successful. Add that to a club that has as much history as any other in the county, and Oakmont is one of golf’s incredibly special places.

Your Reaction?
  • 54
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW4
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Courses

Coming Up: A Big Golf Adventure

Published

on

My name is Jacob Sjöman, and I’m a 35-year-old golf photographer who also enjoys the game we all love. I will be sharing some experiences here on a big golf trip that we are doing. With me I’ve got my friend Johan. I will introduce him properly later, but he is quite a funny character. According to Johan, he is the best golf photo assistant in the world, and we will see about that since this is probably his biggest test yet doing this trip. Previously on our trips, Johan almost got us killed in Dubai with a lack of driving skills. He also missed a recent evening photo shoot in Bulgaria while having a few beers too many… and that’s not all.

Anyway, the last couple of days I’ve been packing my bags over and over. I came home from the Canary Islands this Sunday and I’ve been constantly checking and rechecking that we’ve got all the required equipment, batteries, and that the cameras are 100 percent functional and good to go for this golf trip. I’m still not sure, but in a couple of minutes I will be sitting in a taxi to the airport and there will be no turning back.

Where are we going then? We are going to visit some of the very best golf courses in New Zealand and Australia. There will be breathtaking golf on cliffsides, jaw-dropping scenic courses, and some hidden gems. And probably a big amount of lost balls with a lot of material produced in the end.

I couldn’t be more excited for a golf journey like this one. Flying around the globe to these special golf courses I’ve only dreamed about visiting before gives me a big kick and I feel almost feel like a Indiana Jones. The only thing we’ve got in common, though, is that we don’t like snakes. Australia seems to be one of the worst destinations to visit in that purpose, but all the upsides are massive in this.

First, we will take off from a cold Stockholm (it’s raining heavily outside at the moment) and then we will do our first stop at Doha in Quatar. Then after two more hours, we are finally heading off to Auckland on the north island of New Zealand, a mega-flight of 16 hours. I believe that could very well be one of the longest flights available for a ordinary airplane. I need to check that.

Flights for me usually mean work, editing photos from different golf courses I’ve visited, writing some texts, editing some films, and planning for the future. Last time, though, I finally managed to sleep a little, which is a welcome progress for a guy that was deadly scared of flying until 2008.

Now, I am perfectly fine with flying. A few rocky flights over the Atlantic Sea to Detroit helped me a lot, and my motto is now, “If those flights got me down on the ground safely, it takes a lot of failures to bring down a plane.”

Anyway, I hope you will join me on this golf trip. Stay tuned!

Your Reaction?
  • 50
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW4
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending